Often considered a national hero of Romania, Vlad the Impaler was an important ruler in Wallachian history. Also known as Vlad Dracula, his reputation for cruelty inspired the name of the famous fictitious vampire Count Dracula. Books describing his cruelty were among the first-known bestsellers in the German-speaking territories.
Michael I, the last King of Romania, ruled the country twice, of which the first-tenure was as a minor. During his second tenure, he removed Ion Antonescu’s government that aligned Romania with Nazi Germany. He declared alliance with Allies but was eventually forced to abdicate by Petru Groza’s government on December 30, 1947, as Romania officially became a People's Republic.
Marie of Romania was a descendant of Queen Victoria and born as the Princess of Edinburgh, before she married King Ferdinand I and became the last queen of Romania. A visual artist and a patron of the Art Nouveau movement, she was also a skilled equestrian and driver.
Alaric I reigned as the first king of the Visigoths. Alaric, who operated against the Western Roman regimes, is best remembered for playing a crucial role in the sack of Rome in 410, which was one of the major events leading up to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. After Rome's sack, Alaric fell ill and died in Bruttium.
Carol II of Romania reigned as king of Romania from 1930 to 1940. He played a major role in establishing a royal dictatorship in Romania by abolishing the political parties and removing the 1923 constitution. He replaced the political parties with the National Renaissance Front, a single monopoly party of government.
Ferdinand I of Romania reigned as the King of Romania from 10 October 1914 until his death on 20 July 1927. He chose to support the Triple Entente during World War I and managed to annex Transylvania, Bukovina, Bessarabia, and parts of Maramureș, Crișana, and Banat, which resulted in the establishment of Greater Romania.
Carol I of Romania reigned as the King of Romania from 15 March 1881 to 10 October 1914. He helped Romania achieve independence by leading his men during the Russo-Turkish War and is best remembered as the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen dynasty's first ruler. During his reign, Romania's infrastructure and industry were improved.
Princess Anne Antoinette came to be known as the Queen of Romania after her marriage to Romanian king Michael I. However, she was actually an uncrowned queen, since her husband was forced to abdicate by the Communists shortly before their marriage. She had also been a Free French forces nurse.
Gordian III was a Roman emperor who reigned from 238 to 244 AD. He was the youngest Roman emperor as he ascended the throne at age 13. His reign was marked by a series of major earthquakes that swallowed a number of cities along with their inhabitants.
Carinus was a Roman emperor who reigned from 283 to 285 AD. He was the son of Emperor Carus. Carinus is often counted among the worst Roman emperors and this reputation of his may have been orchestrated by his successful opponent, Diocletian.
Alexandru Ioan Cuza was the first ruler of the Romanian Principalities after the unification of Moldavia and Wallachia. He is credited with modernizing the Romanian society through a series of reforms. Today, Alexandru Ioan Cuza is regarded as a national hero of Romania. He is also counted among the founders of the modern Romanian state.
Considered a Romanian hero, Helen of Greece and Denmark is remembered for her selfless act of saving Romanian Jews during World War II. The daughter of Greek king Constantine I, Helen served as the queen mother of Romania during the rule of her son, King Michael I.
The daughter of Roman governor Theophylact, Marozia was 15 when she became a mistress of Pope Sergius III. She was known for her intelligence and the wealth she generated from being close to Italy’s influential men. She took over the papacy after attacking Pope John X with Guy of Tuscany.
The daughter of Prince Ferdinand, Princess Elisabeth of Romania became the queen of Greece by her marriage to King George II. She later divorced her husband and became the First Lady of Romania following her mother’s death and her brother Carol II’s dethronement. She adopted an artist lover 30 years younger to her.
Milan I of Serbia reigned as the King of Serbia from 1882 until his sudden abdication in 1889. He abdicated in favor of Alexander I of Serbia, which was unexpected at that time. During his reign, Milan focused on developing natural resources and improving the means of communication. However, he was largely unpopular due to reckless extravagance and heavy taxation.
Ancus Marcius reigned as the King of Rome from 640 to 616 BC. While he waged wars to save his kingdom during his 24-year reign, Marcius also promoted peace and religion. Ancus Marcius is credited with reinstating the religious edicts created by Numa and that which were removed by his predecessor Tullus Hostilius.
Burebista reigned as the King of Dacia. He is credited with successfully unifying the famous tribes of the Dacian Kingdom. Burebista and his descendants are regarded as the true ancestors by Romanian nationalists. Burebista's life inspired the 1980 eponymous epic film.
The daughter of German nobleman Hermann, Prince of Wied, Elisabeth of Wied had a flair for writing and initially wished to be a teacher. She later became the first queen of Romania, as the wife of King Carol I. She also wrote many plays, poems, and novels as Carmen Sylva.
Lothair III reigned as the Holy Roman Emperor from 1133 to 1137. He also reigned as the King of Germany and Italy from 1125 to 1137. His reign was marked by disputes with the Staufers, who were finally defeated by Lothair III, Holy Roman Emperor in 1135.
Gábor Bethlen reigned as the King of Hungary from 25 August 1620 to 31 December 1621. He is best remembered as the Prince of Transylvania and Duke of Opole. Although he was the king of Hungary, Gábor Bethlen never took control of the entire kingdom.
Roman empress Aelia Eudoxia, the wife of Emperor Arcadius, was born to a Frankish general and consul. Her marriage to Arcadius was arranged by the eunuch minister of Arcadius, Eutropius. She later went against Eutropius and also had a tiff with John Chrysostom, the patriarch of Constantinople, and sent the latter into exile.
Sigismund Báthory was the Prince of Transylvania and the Duke of Racibórz and Opole. Sigismund was still a child when he was elected as voivode as requested by his dying father. His rule was largely controlled by the Diet of Transylvania, which played a key role in the expulsion of the Jesuits during Sigismund Báthory's reign.
Bogdan I of Moldavia was the first independent ruler of Moldavia. After the Principality of Wallachia, the Principality of Moldavia is regarded as the second independent Romanian state and the foundation of the Principality of Moldavia is attributed to Bogdan I of Moldavia.
Matei Basarab was a Wallachian prince who reigned from 1632 to 1654. Much of his energy was spent to keep invasions from Moldavia at bay, which he accomplished successfully on multiple occasions. Matei Basarab is also credited with introducing the printing press to Wallachia. He also built many churches and monasteries during his reign.
Dragoș, Voivode of Moldavia reigned as the first Voivode of Moldavia. He is credited with inviting the Transylvanian Saxons, who introduced viticulture to Moldavia. Dragoș is also credited with founding Siret and Baia.